Crawford County community helps residents evacuate after tornado

Local News

Numerous agencies were working together in Conneautville to help storm victims evacuate.

More than 160 residents were inside the Rolling Fields Elder Care Community when the tornado ripped through the facility this Tuesday afternoon. The damage forced the evacuation of the residents, who were transported by bus and ambulance to Conneaut Valley Middle School.

The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, residents and emergency responders from across the area showed up to help.

Geoffrey Domowicz, disaster program specialist of the Red Cross, said, “So, we have two shelters in the facility set up–one in the upper gym and one in the lower gym–housing those different patients or those clients along with the Rolling Fields medical staff.”

Conneaut School District had to rely on its own emergency plan. The storm rolled in just as it was time for students to go home.

“We keep kids inside. We get them away from the windows. We did those things. The elementary kids were actually on the bus before we got the alert. They came into the middle school,” said Jarrin Sperry, superintendent of Conneaut School District.

The elementary school dismisses about 2:25 p.m. Sperry said the nasty weather arrived a short time later.

“So, we opened up our school so they have a place to stay dry, a place to get fed, (and) a place to be safe for the night.”

Although the middle school was without electricity Tuesday night, generators were used to power medical equipment and power lights. Domowicz said, “The primary concern is to get these clients in a safe facility. So, we’re working through the department of health working on finding other beds that are in other facilities to help get those patients out.”

All displaced residents were expected to be placed into nursing homes or other housing by midnight. Sperry planned for classes to resume at Conneaut Valley Middle School on Wednesday.

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